Hydraulic Fracturing may be the most intriguing part of the oil drilling process... And with controversy over fracking and for safety reasons -- it's a process the oil industry "guards" closely.
Getting an inside look at a frac job is a rare opportunity.
In North Dakota, hydraulic fracturing is critical in the oil production process.
And this is what it looks like, an enormous amount of equipment, $40 million worth ,all here for what's below this well head.
(Jenette Hilton) "You can see the whole operation from this point, that's the well head."
It's a big operation -- an important operation -- that a group of North Dakota lawmakers get an unfiltered view of.
Touring a frac site as it's going on -- is extremely rare.
(Jenette Hilton) The big contraption you see in the middle is the blender, all the chemicals and sand come together there."
Jenette Hilton is the expert here when it comes to hydraulic fracturing. She's been making her way around western North Dakota since fracking became the answer to getting oil out of North Dakota's ground...
"These rocks are so tight, they won't produce without fracking."
It's here where liquids are forced at high pressure -- 7,000 pounds per square inch up to four miles out.
Everything that is needed in the frac job is on site... 2 million gallons of water sitting in 40 some tanks... 3.5 million gallons of sand.
"resin coated sand, makes it stronger."
The sand is mixed in a gel -- that looks like something you'd find at a dollar store -- but is a key ingredient in releasing the black gold.
"going through rock that have low permeability no path for oil to flow through, poppet provides a highway for oil to move through, without it the oil doesn' tmove. putting a highway into the ground for oil to go."
It was better than any science experiment.
Being able to touch these products allowed lawmakers to learn truths about this highly exploited process..
"Its safe, it's products put in our foods, industry moving towards everything moving to food grade."
Hilton feels comfortable with the process and says she has no worries about the effects of fracking.
"so many people don't know what's going on and have the fear, I don't think it's something to be fearful of - it's a key to national security through energy independence." >>
Hilton says on average frac crews take over a site for three to five days -- the pumping is continuous for 24-48 hours.
Each frac job costs between $2-3 million.